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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Value of a convenient overnight CG

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Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 02/28/12 04:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Francesca Knowles wrote:

JayWalker2009 wrote:



I might be wrong but I think Francesca isn't just talking about the cost of installing electric or ease that it is run, but the cost of the electric bill the CG's end up with. Electric bills are generally higher than water bills.

That is what I meant- thanks!


Price the electric accordingly. A CG can afford/compute the electric bill for a 24 hour stay, but they can't do it for an 8 hour stay?
If a motel provides a 30 amp outlet I'm sure they can sell it at a profit. Yes they must consider electric rates and liability insurance parking spaces etc. But it can be done. I think the biggest question is how much demand is there? What price is a camper willing to pay? Can the motel turn a profit at that price?
For $25.00 I think a motel could provide a 30 amp outlet for an 8 hour period at a profit.


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John&Joey

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Posted: 02/28/12 05:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm OK with $30 a night if it is an easy on and off exit, very safe, and no dumpy FT'er rigs to deal with. Electric to run the AC is a must. Larger lots with plants makes me feel like I'm at least getting something for my money.

If it doesn't have those things then I would rather Wal-Mart if we're just making miles. Wal-Mart is always an easy on/off, a little noisy, but mostly safe.

Jim Shoe

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Posted: 02/28/12 06:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gee, if most of you are truly looking for a place that supplies electricity and a place to sleep, why not sell the RV and get a directory of Motel 6's around the country. They'll leave a light on for you. When you get to your final destination, you could splurge and stay at a Comfort Inn. They offer a free breakfast of stale doughnuts and cold coffee. If you eat just before checkout, you can probably skip lunch. Hit Morrison's cafeteria for dinner, or better yet, a buffet. Most of the food is cooked the same day its served. For entertainment, you can head to a nightclub, but get there before they start charging a cover. Then ask for a glass of ice water and see if they have any free pretzels.
When you finally tire of traveling, you could buy an RV park and put all your ideas into action. WesternRVparkowner would probably sell his in a heartbeat.
OK. Probably a little heavy on the sarcasm, but none of us know the first thing about actually running an RV park and trying to make a profit.


Retired and visiting as much of this beautiful country as I can.


Gale Hawkins

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim Shoe wrote:

Gee, if most of you are truly looking for a place that supplies electricity and a place to sleep, why not sell the RV and get a directory of Motel 6's around the country. They'll leave a light on for you. When you get to your final destination, you could splurge and stay at a Comfort Inn. They offer a free breakfast of stale doughnuts and cold coffee. If you eat just before checkout, you can probably skip lunch. Hit Morrison's cafeteria for dinner, or better yet, a buffet. Most of the food is cooked the same day its served. For entertainment, you can head to a nightclub, but get there before they start charging a cover. Then ask for a glass of ice water and see if they have any free pretzels.
When you finally tire of traveling, you could buy an RV park and put all your ideas into action. WesternRVparkowner would probably sell his in a heartbeat.
OK. Probably a little heavy on the sarcasm, but none of us know the first thing about actually running an RV park and trying to make a profit.


You make some good points.

I do think Motel 6 is better positioned than CG's to make money going forward as the larger RV rigs fade from the USA RV'ing scene.

Fewer and fewer retired people are going to be able to afford the cost. FT'ing can work for some that have a lot more income than SS but for many working today when the job income stops so will a lot of the toy buying/usage. if there are payments involved after retirement then the toys may have to go due to inflating cost of living.

We can read in this tread the stated value of an overnight CG is below the cost of most CG's to provide the service.

It is my guess that 84% of all private CG owners would sell today if they could unload the CG without being under water. The owners with interested buyers may have NO plans to continue operating them as CG's.

Even families with $100K-$200K of income today can be broke or worse if they decide or are forced to retire.

The sky is not falling but the ceiling can get lower for many of us due to retirement. SS max monthly payout can get sucked up with just basic utility bills plus cable, high speed internet. I am reading of people out living a million dollar nest egg.

Mom and Dad may have cut their own wood for heat, killed their own beef and pork and had a large garden and made it on the family farm OK on SS, etc.

Today that is harder to do. They did not worry about CG fees because they had not RV's.

Suzanne and Brad

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nor-easter wrote:

We use our Pass Port America Card to get 50% discount at Member Camp Grounds. Your $30.00 would thus be $15.00.

Good Luck


We also try and use our PA membership for overnighters when we want some kind of amenities (usually after we've boondocked a while and need to do laundry and take loooong showers ). Otherwise, it's WalMart for us.


Happy Travels!
Suzanne & Brad

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Posted: 02/28/12 06:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One issue I can see real quick... It might be worth a small fee if it was _quiet_, but there's no way it will be. There'll be people pulling in & doing minimal set-up at all hours of the night. The owner of this type of CG owner has got to accept this to have enough business. Likewise, people will be leaving at oh-dark-thirty with the noise that involves. n Probably it's going to be a gravel surface with no landscaping, to keep costs down. Noisy to drive on, IOW. Even if it's paved, there's a certain amount of noise people are gonna make coming & going.

Answering the original question, think I'd about as soon stay in a rest area, second best a truck stop or WM. So the value of this CG to me is about $5, maybe $10.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


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RoadLife

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While traveling in Canada last summer, we had to pay $65 for an overnight. Twice. In both cases, it was the only campground for miles. I was not happy. We only hooked up to electric and really do not even need that for overnight.
After that experience I truly understood why folks wallydock. You feel like you are just throwing your money away when you get so little in return. Folks want value for their money.

It would be great if campgrounds could have a parking area for folks who do not need hookups at a lesser charge.

I found we are perfectly happy parking in a big lot parking lot, casino lot, or in the lot of a defunct business (did that once and woke up to find about 10 big semis in the lot with us). We have everything we need to overnight except a place to park. We have a generator, inverter, and mifi. We carry about 50 gallons of water while on the road. Since you need to run your generator at least a half hour every month, it gives us a chance to do that.

I'm looking forward to doing a lot more boondocking on our trip to Alaska this Summer. Haven't wallydocked yet but suspect we may do that too.

See ya on the road.

* This post was edited 02/28/12 08:01am by RoadLife *


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Snowman9000

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Posted: 02/28/12 08:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim Shoe wrote:


OK. Probably a little heavy on the sarcasm, but none of us know the first thing about actually running an RV park and trying to make a profit.


I think I know something about that. I don't think an RV park can survive by providing the price point which I stated is my value of an overnight stay. Not on a typcial small scale CG anyway. I think it would have to be some other business beside a normal CG to do it. This discussion is relevant to a CG owner, whether they like it or not. When the customer changes, if the business doesn't change, the business eventually dies.

We have only been RVing for about a year. We did a little of it 15-20 years ago, staying in destination parks like Jellystones. DW and I have been somewhat surprised by the business model of interstate RV parks. We didn't expect people to be living in them, for one thing. At first it was disconcerting. But it has not proved to be an issue.

Most of the rest of their business seems to be overnighters. Yet they have all the expected vacation amenities for someone to stay a week. Pool, playground, fishing hole, clubhouse....

Is the market changing? Would they build in the amenities if they were starting fresh? Maybe a new business model has some merit?


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Lantley

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westernrvparkowner wrote:

Lantley wrote:

westernrvparkowner wrote:

There are several reasons RV parks do not offer limited services sites. One, they do cost money. Two, it would somewhere between difficult and impossible to keep the separation between those that have paid to use all the facilities and those who only get to plug in the electricity and don't get to use the restrooms, pool, water, sewer dump, gameroom, wifi, etc. Three, most importantly, I am not interested in servicing someone for $10 or $15. and I really don't want someone who was perfectly willing to pay the full $40 rate to decide they could make do with the $15 site, in those instances, I am not making $15, I am losing $25. I am sure some will call this greed, but it is good business and I own my parks to make money, not to be everything to everyone, profits be darned.
For a park to only offer cheap overnight sites, they have to figure how many guests they would get that wouldn't opt for a full service, full fee site, yet still pay that cheap fee and not just opt for the, most likely more convenient, Walmart, Cracker Barrell, Flying J or rest stop for free.
I don't know where everyone finds all these Gas stations and motels with huge unused parking areas. RV sites take up a lot of room, Minimum of around 800 sq feet, plus entry and exit space. Maybe it is a business for someone, go around to all these places, sell them the idea and a power pedastal or two and make some money. Just be aware that in most states the Gas station or Motel will have to become licensed campgrounds. Once they start charging for the service that is what they are.

Just as there is a market for resort types places with manicured lawns and well landscaped sites, there is a market for wooded totally natural sites. There is a market for over night only sites. Your campgrounds may not be located close enough to the interstate to attract the overnighters, however if they are you could create a few over night only sites.
The key is to seperate over night sites from regulars sites. Have strict time rules and enforce the rules.
I'm not suggesting all campgrounds would benefit from overnight sites but I am saying a market exist for economy priced overnight sites. True overnighters simply want to sleep in a quiet secure place. They bare willing to pay however they do not want to pay the full rate. There is a price between a full service KOA and Wal Mart that overnighters will pay.
Motel 6 and Holiday inn express should promote this idea. They coild provide an area at the far end of the lot with eletrical connections.
No sewer or water. Self contained rigs only. Overnighters are not looking for amenities, heat or A/C (electric) is all they want and nite nite they go. $20.00 for any over night plug in. Or charge 3.00 hour. 25.00 minimum.
Stays longer than 8 hours could be charged at $5.00-6.00 an hour to keep extended stayers moving. The idea is for over nights only.
If Wal Mart can do it for free. I'm sure the hotels could do it for a fee.
As far as licensing, hotels are already in the hospitality business I'm sure they could find a way to get licensed.
Instead of "Leaving the light on" Motel 6 could "Leave the cord out for ya!"
Carolina Crossroads in Roaoke Rapids NC. Has about 10 overnight sites that they charge $25.00 a night for. The campground is fairly new. They are never at full capacity. The overnight policy has bought them more business. I will drive an extra 60 miles to reach them vs. paying $50.00 at the KOA. When I pull in it's late . All I do is plug in and sleep.
The idea seems very doable, epsecially for motels. A $10,000.00 investment in electric could yield $63K a year in revenue. Multiply that figure across a few locations and suddenly $25.00 overnights are real attractive.
Your math would require 8 overnighters a night, 365 days a year at $25.00 for electricity only. Good luck with that.


Correct but $10K is a very minimal investment. You can easily find 5-6 RV's in a Wal Mart and Wal mart is offering nothing but a free space. Imagine if they offered electric.
Electric would be a game changer. Imagine if all interstate Motel 6's offered RV electric parking. I'm sure they would be RV's parked at all of them just like Wal mart's. Eight RV's a day 365 a year is max capacity, however it is not the profit point. 4 a day will generate 36K a year.
Apply that math to a few locations and you can see there is money to me generated.
Again my real point is there needs to be something more economical for overnighters than a full service campground with $50-$65 dollar rates. I have no problem paying full rates for any campground. I have stayed in quite a few $75.00 and up sites. However I am reluctant to pay the full rate for an overnight. I need more value for my money than 50.00 to plug in for less than 8 hours.
There needs to be something in between,the demand is there.

Just drive by a Wal Mart and you will see RV'ers looking for a safe place to stay. There are no poor or broke people traveling by RV especially these days. They have funds to pay for a site but the reality is there is very little available other than full service sites at full service rates.
There is a void and a need. Hopefully one day someone with vision will step outside of the box and fill the void with simple 30 amp electric RV parking spaces.

mowermech

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey, Westernrvparkowner, take a jaunt to Great Falls this summer, and check out the Malmstrom AFB FamCamp. As you look it over (especially on a holiday weekend), keep in mind that it has a VERY limited clientele.
It also has no store, no pool, no game room, no amusement park, none of the "amenities" that the marketing experts consider "absolutely necessary".
Yet, it is nearly full all summer long. In fact, I have been there when it was completely full, plus the OLD Famcamp on base that is used for "overflow" was nearly full!
Keep in mind that the MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) fund is pretty much self-supporting. That is what built the park, and where the fees go.
The FamCamp is not on the base, so you can look it over no problem.
My point is, if THAT RV park, with a limited clientele, low fees, and no "amenities" other than a bath house/laundry, can survive, why would a similar park that ANYBODY could patronize, not survive?
It is several miles from I-15, and a mile or so (and not visible) from U.S. Hwy 87.


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